Tag: Deming

Podcast #320 – Skip Steward on Deming, Wheeler, Metrics, and More

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Skip Steward, the Chief Improvement Officer at Baptist Memorial Health Care in Tennessee, was a guest on Episode #314 of the podcast talking about TWI and Toyota Kata in healthcare (he was joined by Brandon Brown). Today, I've asked Skip to come back and chat 1x1, in Episode #320, about his experience with Don Wheeler, learning from W. Edwards Deming, and more. I hope you enjoy his reflections, our discussions about healthcare, and connections to my book Measures of Success (Skip undoubtedly has a book in him too). 

Lean Learning Opportunities in Texas and Japan – Toyota is the...

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I'm excited to share two interesting opportunities to further our learning about Lean. One is a Texas-based event in September and the other is Japan-based, in October.

Unleashing Potential: Shohei Ohtani, Takashi Harada, and Norman Bodek’s Approach to...

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I first learned about an approach to personal development called "The Harada Method" when Norman Bodek co-authored a book with Takashi Harada: The Harada Method: The Spirit of Self-Reliance. Norman was a guest on my podcast in 2013 to talk about this... The Harada Method has been on mind again recently thanks to the success of Major League Baseball player Shohei Ohtani, from Japan.

Part 2: 20 Years Ago at GM, the Quality Death Spiral...

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Recently, I blogged about a quality catastrophe that I lived through at GM just over 20 years ago, at the now-closed GM Livonia Engine Plant. Bluntly, the quality problems were caused by poor management and the side effects of their decisions. Even though they constantly blamed workers, management directly interfered with workers and engineers being able to do the right thing for quality. Here is Part 2 of that story... the first quality "spill" took place in April 1996. As I wrote about last time, Angry high-horse memos were sent out by management. Workers were told to have pride and to pay closer attention to quality (as if those had been the problems).

Leaders & Lean: We Need to Better Support Doctors and Other...

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When surgeons have no better options than complaining about process problems on LinkedIn, are their leaders and organizations really properly supporting them? In this post, we'll explore questions of blame, accountability, and engaging people in process improvement... being of better service to them.

20+ Years Ago at GM: The Quality Death Spiral of Bad...

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My first job out of college was as an Industrial Engineer at the General Motors Livonia Engine Plant. Blogging didn't exist then (I didn't even have email or internet access at work) or I might have started my writing career then. Oh, the stories. I've shared some of them on this blog over time. I've blogged about papers from the Don Ephlin files, a former UAW national leader. I have my own small collection of documents and artifacts from my days at GM that I thought to keep in a folder. I still have that folder today. A few of these memos tell the story of a quality and productivity death spiral that eventually led to our plant manager being replaced. And, by "replaced," I don't mean fired or given an early retirement. He was, at least in title, PROMOTED to a role at GM Powertrain headquarters. Thankfully, the new plant manager, Larry Spiegel, was one of the original "NUMMI commandos" and he made a huge difference to the plant and to me, personally.

My Talk in Vegas: Leadership Lessons from Statistics and Psychology

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Today, I’m giving a keynote talk at the Lean & Six Sigma World Conference being held in Las Vegas. I don’t normally attend or speak at “Lean Sigma” events, but I had an opportunity to give a new talk that touches on two of my favorite themes in recent years – the need to apply statistics and psychology to our “Lean Management” practices or Six Sigma or whatever.

“So why are you here in Japan?” Kaizen, Popularity, Fads, and...

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Monday, I blogged about the sushi-making class I took on my last Sunday in Japan. Later that same Sunday, I did a walking food tour in the Shibuya area. Walking food tours are a great way to explore and learn about a city. In our small group, there was a couple from Australia and a retired couple from South Africa. Between stops on the tour, the South African gentleman, a retired mining company manager or executive, asked me why I was there in Japan for work.

Ratings for “The Oscars” Were Lower in 2018? Should We Ask...

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As I blogged about yesterday, things went well at the Oscars... or, at least, no errors were made in the announcements. But that thing that didn't go well was the TV ratings. Two Data Points Are Not a Trend The headlines I saw had a lot of two-data-point comparisons. Headlines sometimes gave the percentage decrease in viewers or how many million fewer viewers there were. Many talked about "record low" but if you're tracking a metric "record low" or "all-time high" doesn't mean there's a "special cause." That "record low" could still be noise in the system.

Lessons from the NUMMI 10th Anniversary Book Published in 1994

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I did manage to buy a book that was published by NUMMI to celebrate their 10th anniversary. "10 Years of Quality & Teamwork" is the title. Here is the cover and I'll share a few things that caught my attention inside. It's interesting to think through this book in the context of : Tesla (the current owners of the building - see my past blog post) Healthcare organizations

The WSJ Overgeneralizes about The “Japanese Model,” Not All Companies Are...

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Not all Japanese companies are the same. "Lean isn't easy" if you're a Japanese company. Toyota has created something special, since "Toyota culture" is not exactly the same as "Japanese culture." The WSJ says the "model is cracking." Do scandals involving quality and ethical lapses involving companies including those and Nissan tarnish Lean and the Toyota Production System? No. That's as silly as thinking the Wells Fargo banking scandal tarnishes Silicon Valley (although the Valley does enough to tarnish itself).

Tatsuro Toyoda, Former Head of NUMMI, President of Toyota, Passes Away...

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Yesterday, I saw this headline from the Associated Press: "Tatsuro Toyoda, former head of Toyota, dies at 88" He passed away on December 30, 2017. I offer my condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues. In this post, I share some of his history and some reflections from two Americans who worked with him directly.